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    Archaeological Museum Istanbul (Guide and Insider Tips)

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    The Archaeological Museums of and Istanbul, also known as Archaeological Museums Istanbul, are one of the richest archaeological museums in the world. The Istanbul Archaeological Museum consists of three separate museums, including the Archaeological Museum proper, the Museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art and the Museum of Islamic Ceramics (Çinili Köşk).

    The Archaeological Museum is located in the old city of Istanbul, in the Fatih district, Eminonu and Blue, the southeasternmost part of the European part of Istanbul – a peninsula jutting out like a trumpet within the outer wall of Topkapi Palace, surrounded by the Gülhane Park - below the Hagia Sophia and near the Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern.

    Istanbul Archaeological Museum Travel Guide 2023 - Turkey Life
    Istanbul Archaeological Museum Travel Guide 2023 - Turkey Life

    Museum History on Istanbul Archaeological Museum

    Founded in 1891 by the painter and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey under the direction of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the museum was then called Müze-i Humayun ('Museum of the Empire') and was the central archaeological site of the Ottoman Empire. Architect Alexandre Vallaury built the building (from 1881) in neoclassical style.

    The proportion of the Istanbul art collection in the museum goes back to the cataloging and recording project initiated at the time by museum director Halil Edhem Eldem, in which several artists collaborated. At that time, eminent Turkish art historians and architectural experts saved and protected Istanbul's monuments and archaeological artifacts affected by war and vandalism.

    The building of the Ancient Near Eastern Museum was also designed in 1883 by the famous architects Alexandre Vallaury and Osman Hamdi Bey.


    The third museum in the complex, Museum of Islamic Ceramics (Çinili Köşk), was built in 1472 by Sultan Mehmed II outside Topkapi Palace as a pleasure palace with green and blue Iznik tile mosaics inside and out. After the fire in 1737, the wooden porch was replaced by the representative porch.

    What to see in Istanbul Archaeological Museum

    Istanbul Archaeological Museum has a collection of more than 1 million exhibits from different civilizations like Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman which have a profound influence on the History had.

    The Archaeological Museum

    The Archaeological Museum houses impressive works excavated from the Sydon necropolis, such as the sarcophagi of Alexander the Great and King Tabnit.

    This building has two floors. There are 20 exhibition rooms on the ground floor and 16 other rooms on the upper floor, in which small medieval and modern objects and sculptures are displayed.

    • Colossal statue of Zeus
    • Lioness (4th century BC) dated Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
    • Sidamara sarcophagus (3rd century), discovered in Konya in 1950
    • Bronzeware from Cyprus, Greek vases and coins.

    The Museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art

    The Ancient Near Eastern Museum contains the discoveries of the Ottoman Empire in the Orient, particularly Mesopotamia (the culture of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, etc.), Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and Asia Minor.

    Among the internationally renowned exhibits are Hittite cuneiform tablets from Boazkale, including a copy of the Hittite peace treaty after the Battle of Kadesh between the Hittite Empire and Ramses II. These tablets have been declared a World Document Heritage by UNESCO because they contain the oldest written peace treaty in human history.

    The Museum of Islamic Ceramics (Çinili Köşk)

    The Islamic pottery in the museum's collection is located in Çinili Köşk and shows Seljuk and Ottoman pottery of different origins (Kutahya, Canakkale) from the 12th to the 19th century.

    Frequently asked questions about Archaeological Museum in Istanbul

    1. How much does admission cost Archaeological Museum in Istanbul?

      The entrance to Archaeological Museum in Istanbul at the ticket office on site is about 60 lira

    2. Where can I find the opening times from Archaeological Museum in Istanbul?

      please check the Opening hours and admission times

    Entry, tickets and tours for Istanbul Archaeological Museum

    • Admission: Istanbul Archaeological Museum is open every day except Monday from 09:30-19:00 (from 01. April to 01. October), 09:00-17:30 (from October 01st to April 01st).
    • Tickets: Entry to Istanbul Archaeological Museum costs 60 TL at the on-site ticket office.
    • Tours: You can get guided tours with the Istanbul Welcome Card.

    How to get to Istanbul Archaeological Museum?

    Istanbul Archaeological Museum is located in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul's Fatih district, on Sultanahmet Square, near the famous Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque.

    The most convenient way to get to Sultanahmet is by taking the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).

    • The nearest tram stop is Sultanahmet.
    • The Sultanahmet Square and most connecting roads are closed to vehicles, except for trams and coaches.
    • From Partition from take the funicular to Kabatas (from Taksim place) or the funicular to Karakoy (from Tünel Square), then take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (line T1).
    • If you are staying in a hotel in Sultanahmet area, you can easily walk to it.

    Address : Istanbul Archaeological Museum, İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri, Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

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